How to Get Red Hair

BY: Editorial Staff |Jan 10, 2019

According to Terra Therapos, colorist at Chicago’s Circle Salon, anyone can rock red hair. The trick is choosing the best shade. "The level of lightness to darkness can vary, but I believe that anyone can wear red or a color that has red in it," Terra explains.


Three Things to Consider When Going Red

To know which shade of red is right for you, you should keep these three factors in mind.

1. Your Natural Hair Color

“Work with the tones that naturally exist,” recommends Terra. For example, blondes might consider light copper or strawberry blonde, while brunettes can play around with shades of mahogany and other red-browns. This also helps when hair color starts to fade. Blondes who seek a darker shade of red would need an excess of color to achieve it, and “no matter what your colorist does, [it] will always fade to a lighter shade.”

2. The Undertone of Your Skin

Honoring your skin's natural tone is the best way to ensure your red locks will look sultry, not scary. "Try not to oppose your skin tone with your hair color because you can look washed out," Terra advises.

Your undertone will be yellow, pink, or neutral, and will determine the shade of red below that will be best suited for you. For help determining your undertone, click here.

3. Your Eye Color

Though less important than hair color and undertone, the right shade of red will make your eye color brighter. Blue and green eyes are a striking match for red hair; brown eyes appear warmer with warmer hues.


10 Shades of Red

Check out some of our favorite shades of red, and use these as a guideline for choosing your own color. "I do believe that there is a red for everyone," Terra says. "But it definitely takes the right personality and vote of confidence to wear it well."


Light Copper

Best for: natural blondes, yellow or neutral undertones


Strawberry Blonde

Best for: natural blondes, pink or neutral undertones.



Best for: blond or light brown hair, yellow or neutral undertones


Golden Copper

Best for: blond or light brown hair, yellow or neutral undertones



Best for: blond or light brown hair, yellow or neutral  undertones


Ginger Red

Best for: brown hair, pink or neutral undertones


Brown Red

Best for: blond or light brown hair, yellow or neutral undertones


Ruby Red

Best for: brown hair, pink or neutral undertones



Best for: darker hair, pink or neutral undertones



Best for: darker hair, yellow or neutral undertones


Pro Tips to Avoid Flaming Out

Red hair looks best when it’s at its most vibrant. "Red hair tends to have the most noticeable fading of all hair colors," Terra explains. "Expect to visit the salon more often to keep it looking its best." For more vibrant shades, she estimated touchups every four to six weeks.

For in between salon trips, here’s a short list of tips to keep your hair color bright:

  • Wash hair as infrequently as possible
  • Use the coldest water you can stand
  • Wash with sulfate-free shampoos
  • Explore pigmented shampoos, which deposit color back into the hair with every wash.

This article was originally written by Kelly MacDowell in 2015 and has since been updated by our editors.


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